Search our Archive

31/07/2021

Pulling pints across the pond: Oldest pub landlady in the world hails from Ireland

Muff's Nancy Murray pulling pints at Manchester's Peveril of the Peak for half a century

Muff's Nancy Murray (91) has been pulling pints behind the bar of Manchester's Peveril of the Peak pub since 1971.

Muff's Nancy Murray (91) has been pulling pints behind the bar of Manchester's Peveril of the Peak pub since 1971.

A Donegal woman, believed to be the oldest pub landlady in the world, hails from the Inishowen village of Muff.

Great-grandmother Nancy Murray (91) has been pulling pints behind the bar of Manchester's Peveril of the Peak pub since 1971.

"People say I'm the oldest landlady around. I certainly don't know anyone who is older than me and still has a pub," Nancy told The Star. "I don't do as much these days, but the Guinness Book of Records might contact me, and I wouldn't mind that at all. It would be great publicity. You wouldn't be sure if I'll still be at this at 100, but you never know.

"I'm 91 but mind is as good as when I was 16. As the man says, I haven't lost it yet. I'll still crack the whip.

"I love meeting Irish people here and I say, 'There will be one behind the bar for you when you come back'. I left Donegal when I was young, but I've never lost my accent," said Nancy. 

Nancy and her husband Tommy Swanick, who sadly died in 1981, took over Peveril of the Peak at the beginning of 1971. 

Born in 1930, Nancy emigrated from Inishowen to Glasgow in 1946 in search of work, before moving to Manchester, where she and Tommy opened the iconic pub.

The proud Donegal woman has served drinks to many celebrities including, Eric Cantona, Gary Neville, Liam and Noel Gallagher, Steve Coogan, as well as Coronation pub landlord, Jack Duckworth (aka Bill Tarmey).

When England's Covid-19 restrictions lifted last week, Eric Cantona called into Peveril of the Peak, to visit Nancy and her son Maurice and to autograph some Manchester United photographs.

More News

Buy the e-paper of the Donegal Democrat, Donegal People's Press, Donegal Post and Inish Times here for instant access to Donegal's premier news titles.

Keep up with the latest news from Donegal with our daily newsletter featuring the most important stories of the day delivered to your inbox every evening at 5pm.